Monthly Archive for: โ€˜March, 2013โ€™
Living Room Book shelves: Part 3

Looking at what I’ve completed and how long it took to complete it, I started to think I needed pick up the pace. So I started the day off with installing the back of the unit (my walls are textured and I didn’t want to deal with smoothing out the walls). I cut some fiberboard to size, nailed it into place and after a little masking painted everything.


(yes, the net project I will use more than my iphone to take pics)

Seeing it all painted showed how big the piece was going to be which was scary and exciting at the same time….so far so good, now to get the shelves going.
I grabbed a piece of pegboard that was laying around (because I saw a cool tip on Pinterest) and used it as a template to drill adjustable shelves. Since it isn’t realistic that someone would need to have a gazillion holes to adjust shelves, I eyeballed the height on the first one, then made sure every other one matched the height. I drilled a hole into a scrap piece of wood to use as a stop so that I didn’t drill through the entire piece of wood…super handy.


One mistake I made was assuming the walls and fireplace were square. At first I thought I was going to have to cut a new piece to compensate for the gap, but I thought I’d try to make a shim and it worked! A lot of sanding in a tight space made it look like it was never there.


Though painting is my nemesis, I didn’t want to crawl under everything once assembled to get everything painted. So far, painting and waiting for the paint to dry has taken the longest time in this project. (note to self: find a sucker friend who loves painting and have them “help” with the next project :))
Once everything was dry, it was time to get things put together so I can do another victory dance and show my kids some dance moves.


[insert victory dance and singing here]

At this point, I realized that I was leaving out my handyman so I gave him a project….sign the base so that his mark is in this house forever. I then assembled the base of the left side and (luckily) with a lot of measuring everything fit perfectly.


I ended the weekend with my favorite task painting the back and installing everything so I can get right into building tomorrow.


Things are starting to shape up!! I’m pumped about getting the left side built up so I can finish this guy!

Living Room Book shelves: Part 2

Waking up to the carpet pulled back with the sub-floor exposed gave me a little bit of motivation to get something started for the day! I started with mistake one: measuring the height from the carpet…


note: save yourself some time and headache….measure from the ground you’ll be building on not the top layer…or it will end up wasting material, time and looking something like this:


I grabbed some breakfast, recruited an assistant to help remeasure the rights height of by base and began ripping stripes from a sheet of poplar I had in the garage…



Having a nail gun saved soooo much time this second time around. I squared everything up and used 2″ brad nails to keep everything together. Once pieced together I went back and used some screws to to make sure these puppies weren’t going to fall apart on me (overkill maybe but I’d rather play it safe).
With the base in place I grabbed some shims to level everything out….everything seemed to be off so I took my time to make sure on this part. I started with the base because I was super confident in my measuring skills and since the height of this piece was crucial to looking right with the fireplace I took the least likely route I’d mess up on measurement ๐Ÿ™‚


After placing the base down and leveling it I remeasured the base to cut the top from 3/4″ poplar plywood. This stuff has super strength…again, maybe overkill but my biggest fear was that I would make all this effort convincing <ahref=””>Allegra to let me build this, build it and when she put a book on it, it came crashing down…haha.
I thought I would accomplish more in half of a morning, but with the little set back, it took more time that I expected (pretty common).


Once installed, I took a step back…looked at my progress….and sing a little victory tune in my head “dunna….dunna, dunna, dunna, eigh eigh, eigh”.
I’m half way done with this project. now ready to build the shelves things and finish phase one.

Living Room Book shelves: Part 1

If you know me, you know I don’t do so well in chaos….I like order. We just moved two weeks ago, but coming into the house to see this was driving me nuts.

Builtin Book Shelves-01

As we were packing up the Penske truck to move to Oregon, someone responded to our craigslist ad wanting to buy our entertainment center. We were, literally, 5 minutes from packing it up finding a place to put it in the truck when we sold it. Small victory at the time until we moved here to find we had no space for our stuff! Thus… #timeforaproject
To gain sanity, Allegra and I cleared everything out of the living room and rewarded ourselves with some wine.

Builtin Book Shelves-08

As we sat there my mind started wondering off on what I could attempt to build to gain space for everything. I’ve never attempted a project this big so I started by searching through Pinterest and sketching what I was thought would look good so I had some supportive items when convincing Allegra ๐Ÿ™‚ Luckily it didn’t take much effort, she was stoked….and I think terrified when I told her how I would need to do it).


I started by pulling back the carpet, removing the tack strip and clearing out the mess. The easiest way I found to pull up the carpet was to go to the corner of the area I was working, grab a piece of carpet and pull it up and toward me.


Builtin Book Shelves-10

I finished the day off with removing the back baseboard, clearing out the old staples and vacuuming clean for a nice clean start for tomorrow.

Builtin Book Shelves-13

Stay tuned for Living Room Book shelves: Part 2